Today’s businesses have already learned how to deal with the intricacies of their mobile workers and the data carried in their laptop computers. After all, the info in those notebooks is confidential and possessed by the corporation. The same complexities-and many more-now arise from the workers’ use of smartphones. Often, the data in a smartphone is just as sensitive and critical to the company as data in computers. Issues of security, compliance, legality, trust, and of course cost all need to be addressed.
The cost of ownership is perhaps the easiest aspect to calculate. Not to mention keeping track of how and where the connection charges are occurring in the company, this can yield valuable information on the true costs of enterprise mobility.
Corporate-owned phones come with their own set of problems, like supporting the plethora of different phones and carrier types. Think again if you believe that you can just issue the same phone to everyone to control that complexity. It’s usually the best performers, the hardest employee-type to recruit, who insists on having his or her own type of phone, “because it has worked for me in the past.”
Even though it seems obvious that there is need to control employees’ gear and use-after all, there are dozens and dozens of emails, calendars, documents, and confidential customer information stored on these smartphones-an increasing number of companies are loosening their hold on employee-owned handheld devices that are used for business purposes. Before you buy any smart phone please Online Preisvergleich
Now, half of those smartphones in use among U.S. and Canadian businesses aren’t company-issued equipment, according to a recent report from Forrester Research. Most firms are still grappling with the question of who should be liable for all these devices. Within this discussion, there are still several unanswered questions and hidden trapdoors, including: What is intended with “liability”? What are the legal elements that have to be considered? How can I begin to construct a strategy that’s purposeful and balances the demands of both the company and the worker?
What Is Meant by “Liability”?
There are many types of liability associated with owning and using a smartphone, such as fiscal, regulatory, compliance, privacy, and legal accountability, to mention only a few. Financial liability is perhaps the easiest to comprehend. It might seem obvious that paying individual liable (IL) carrier plans are the responsibility of the employee. However, what if the worker stands up a $5000 bill on a three-week company trip to Europe? And imagine if that employee uses a corporate liable (CL) phone to run an illegal action with large financial consequences, such as using the camera feature to have a photo of a rival’s confidential files?
If you’re in a market with rigid regulatory and compliance concerns, then it would be probable that more powerful controls and CL smartphones are the standard. Of course, it’s the information on this phone, rather than the phone itself, that needs to be handled. In a bigger company with decent IT staffing, keeping sensitive data away from the telephone with specialized applications and firewalls is relatively easy. But what about smaller businesses that allow phone access to business records on the company’s private intranet?
Financial services and health care companies can have quite high legal and financial consequences for misuse of private data that might end up to a smartphone. A number of these businesses require all corporate data to go through company-issued computers (rather than phones) which have elaborate encryption and other information security mechanisms. But “privacy” may have yet another definition. How about protection of employee-owned information that resides on a CL smartphone? Does the employer have the right to look at ALL of the information on the telephone they have, even when they might happen upon some embarrassing photos?
And here is a hypothetical “who’s liable” question. What if an employee happens to lose a next-generation prototype smartphone that’s later discovered and marketed to a tech magazine, so that the new attributes and technologies can be “outed” to a curious person? What type of insurance/risk management accountability plan will cover THAT?
Legal Aspects of Data Ownership and Control
There’s a distinct lack of legal clarity about what a firm can and cannot control when it comes to smartphones. If law lagging behind tech, how do you factor legal problems to the equation of who must have the smartphone?
Some generally accepted clinics have started to emerge. Business email messages and company information are owned by the business, regardless of where they live. The company has unrestricted access to the data and may set usage policies that have to be adhered to by the employee. On the other hand, courts have ruled that after this information is routed through the Webmail through a service such as AOL out to the cloud, companies can drop the rights to confidentiality! The issue is multiplied exponentially if you are an global company, because in the E.U., Japan, and Canada, all email is regarded as private to employees if it was authored by them.
Can an employer mandate control over CL or IL phones used for business functions? 1 way that seems to hold up legally is via using employment agreements. Even if the phone is possessed by the employee located in (let us say) Canada, a well-crafted employment agreement will trump the local laws about employee privacy of company email and text messages. Of course, the employment agreement will not hold up if it is only selectively or randomly enforced, making the employer the poor guy if it is strictly enforced with a heavy hand. It’s usually agreed upon that any policy has to be well known and “bought into” through consensus to be able to avoid lawsuits over privacy problems.